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Iranian Sunni Cleric Shot Dead


A Sunni cleric has been shot and killed in Iran"s northern Golestan Province, Iranian media report.

Abdolghafour Jamalzai, the Friday Prayers leader of Reza Abad village, was reportedly shot in the back with a hunting rifle early on November 27.

Iranian government news agency IRNA said Jamalzai, an ethnic Baluch, was shot four times as he returned home from Reza Abad mosque near the northern city of Ramiyan, around 120 kilometers northeast of the capital, Tehran.

IRNA quoted an anonymous source as saying the killing could be linked to "personal hostilities and tribal strife."

A senior police official said an investigation has been launched.

Abdolreza Cheraghali, a local official in Golestan, said the motive for the killing was not clear.

But he denied that the killing could have been a "terrorist" attack.

Sunnis constitute about 10 percent of Iran's mostly Shi'ite population of 80 million.

In July, gunmen assassinated a Sunni cleric in southeastern Iran.

Based on reporting by IRNA, ILNA, Tasnim, and AFP
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